Rakuten TV Review – Rakuten TV is not a household name, but it is an intriguing choice with Apple TV, Google Play, and Amazon Prime Video. It’s not a streaming service (also often called on-demand video streaming, or SVOD), like Netflix, but a TVOD service (which stands for on-demand video transaction), meaning you only pay to watch whatever movie you want.
Buying à la carte ensures that with their DVD and Blu-ray release, you get access to hot new films day and date, and in some cases, much earlier if a studio so chooses.
Rakuten TV Content and Expense
Rakuten TV, along with its DVD and Blu-ray counterparts, provides digital buying and leasing options for all big movie releases. A comprehensive back catalog of library titles is open, too.
It is possible to make purchases by card or through the reward program of Rakuten Super Points. Spend a quid (with an equal amount of 1p per point-so don’t get too excited), and you’ll win a point.
Compatibility and Devices
There is broad support for the Rakuten software on smart TVs. You can also find the software on Roku streaming sticks, even though you can’t use it on Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV computers at the time of publishing.
In their app store, Xbox One owners can find it, and it’s available for streaming in a browser. You’ll also notice it on the Freesat and EE PVRs on-demand pages. The mobile app also supports Chromecast.
Rakuten TV Features
If you want to build a list of stuff to watch, there’s a Wishlist function. Just add movies and TV shows for easy access later. Much like those operated by Netflix and Amazon, it’s a handy tool to organise your viewing.
My Library stores any content you ‘buy’ or rent. Purchases are automatically saved.
Navigation is basic. There’s a universal search bar, with a drop-down menu that reveals genres and themed collections.
It is possible to classify sound and vision quality above average, but still system based. With the right materials, it’s a perfect source for home theatre setups.
4 K UHD with HDR (aka HDR10) is ubiquitous on new launches. Rakuten suggests a minimum 20 Mbps network link for 4K.
With Dolby Atmos, Rakuten also provides Dolby Vision names, but these are exclusive to the LG TV app. There’s no price premium for Vision or Atmos games over standard 4K.
Pros of Rakuten TV
Besides SVoD offerings such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it is certainly beneficial to provide a transactional Video on Demand service to browse. If you have stepped away from disc ownership, Rakuten TV provides an early route from the theatre circuit to new movies that are hot. AV enthusiasts can enjoy its 4 K HDR and multimedia sound support, too.
Cons of of Rakuten TV
Along with top-tier prices, heavy competition from Amazon , Google, Apple and Sky keeps Rakuten TV from being a must-have service. For the same kind of loose change, Apple delivers 4 K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos streams, and if you’re able to wait a few months, on other channels, hot games can be watched for less. The proposal is also uneven, limiting LG screens to Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and Sony TVs to IMAX Enhanced content, while TV shows are only available for purchase online and via its mobile app.
Rakuten has a better choice in first run movies due to strong studio funding. If you don’t own an Apple TV, instead of purchasing a disc, it’s potentially the next best 4 K source for these early launches.
When it comes to catalogue material, it is less appealing, even though the strange bargain price stream is surfacing.
Overall, just to take advantage of its free movie range, we think Rakuten TV is well worth considering.